‘Homeland’ Recap: Showrunner Explains Carrie’s ‘Super Powers’ (SPOILERS)

Spoiler alert: Do not read until you’ve watched episode three of “Homeland,” titled “Super Powers.” 

If you’ve been watching “Homeland” for the past five seasons, you had to know that happy, stable, well-balanced Carrie (Claire Danes) wouldn’t, couldn’t last for long. Once again, she proved her own worst enemy. Undone by the news that she was the true target of last week’s attack at the refugee camp, she confessed to her boyfriend, Jonas (Alexander Fehling), that she’d gone off in her anti-psychotic meds. Her excuse: She believed she always did her best work when she was off them, and that without them, she could unleash her “super powers” and figure out who was behind the attack. Yes, Carrie’s famous “wall” is back.

Jonas naively went along with her plan, only to learn the devastating reality about her work as a CIA agent: “I don’t know how you live with yourself,” he told her. And as she quickly spiraled out of control, she lashed out at him. “You’re a lousy lay,” she snapped. “Bet you never had a girlfriend like me before.”

But the gamble didn’t pay off: She couldn’t come up with a suspect. And their domestic bliss — or lack thereof — was quickly spoiled by Quinn (Rupert Friend), who was on the hunt for her. He ruthlessly kidnapped Jonas’ son — and the panicked call from Jonas’ ex- wife led Quinn straight to their hideaway. A hyperaware Carrie immediately realized it was just a ruse — but she couldn’t convince Jonas, who’d had it with her and her manic state. Carrie ran away and hid in the woods behind the house, only to be caught and sedated by Quinn.

It’s worth noting that we also learned that Saul (Mandy Patinkin) and Allison Carr (Miranda Otto) have been sleeping together — and by the looks of it, have been for a while. Suddenly it makes sense why Saul sacrificed another pawn and saved her job instead.

Here, “Homeland” executive producer Alex Gansa tells Variety exclusively what the future holds for Carrie, her boyfriend and the man who’s now holding her captive.

You said last week that this episode was going to be controversial. How do you think viewers are going to respond?

By controversial, I meant that some would like it and some would not. We have fans who prefer the more action-oriented episodes and fans who prefer the more character-based ones. The truth is, the show would be less than the sum of its parts, if we favored either option to the exclusion of the other.

Why did you decide Carrie was going to go off her meds?

Carrie’s on-again off-again relationship with her medication is one of her lifetime struggles, as it is for many people who actually suffer from bipolar disease. We choose to dramatize that struggle now and again, when it feels appropriate to the story and important for the development of the character.

How was this idea developed in the writers’ room?

As all stories are developed in our writers’ room: with great and passionate agreement and disagreement.

Why did Jonas go along with her plan?

Because Carrie — the woman he loves — asked him to. And because her life is in danger.

Jonas not only sees a side of her he doesn’t expect — and like — but he learns some pretty dark secrets about her past.

Yes, he does. But it’s something Carrie wants him to see, as a way of fully revealing herself to him. She’s even slightly giddy at the prospect of sharing this part of her life, hoping he can handle it, hoping he’ll still love her in the morning, as she puts it. Sadly, it doesn’t go exactly as she had planned.

She’s also pretty brutal to him, calling him a “lousy lay” and worse.

Yes, she is. But she’s in the throes of her illness.

Can their relationship ever recover?

Keep watching. You will know the answer by season’s end.

It ultimately didn’t work out for her, though — she wasn’t able to identify who’s after her. What are the repercussions going to be?

Carrie’s life isn’t going to get any easier, I can tell you that.

She saw through Quinn’s kidnapping ruse so quickly. Would she have been able to do that off the meds?

Maybe, but she probably doesn’t think so.

In the end, is she back on the meds? Will she stay on them?

At the end of this episode, she is back on her meds. Whether or not she stays on them is an open question.

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